23 May: International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was observed across the world on 23 May 2016 with the theme End fistula within a generation. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about obstetric fistula.
The day was created through the resolution A/RES/67/147 of United Nations General Assembly calling on the international community to use this International Day to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula.
About Obstetric fistula
• Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth.
• It is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment.
• The condition typically leaves women incontinent and as a result they are often shunned by their communities.
• Sufferers often endure depression, social isolation and deepening poverty.
• Many women live with the condition for years as they cannot afford to obtain treatment.
• An estimated 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, Latin America and the Caribbean are living with this injury and some 50000 to 100000 new cases develop each year.
• Yet fistula is almost entirely preventable. Its persistence is a sign that health systems are failing to meet women’s essential needs.
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